Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was attacked by a man today in his hometown Bakhtiyarpur, in a huge security lapse. The man, who was caught on CCTV camera during the attack, has been arrested and currently in police custody, sources said.
Footage from CCTV cameras showed the attack taking place as the Chief Minister was about to pay his respects to the statue of Shilbhadra Yaji, a noted freedom fighter from the state, at the local Safar hospital complex.
The man, who came from behind, was seen walking up the dais in rapid steps and striking Mr Kumar – who had bent to make a floral offering to the statue — on the back. He was immediately dragged off by the Chief Minister’s security personnel. “Do not beat him. First find out what he is saying,” the Chief Minister told his security personnel, sources said.
Other videos showed the man — later identified as Shankar Sah — being escorted away by the police.
These days, the Chief Minister is touring different segments of his old Lok Sabha constituency Barh. Mr Kumar was elected five times from Barh, from 1989 to 1999.
Mr Kumar had last faced an attack in November 2020, when he was campaigning in Bihar’s Madhubani for the ongoing state elections.
Mr Kumar was talking about jobs at a rally in Harlakhi, when the onions were hurled from the crowd. The pungent missiles went awry as his security personnel rushed to form a protective shield around him. “Khub feko, khub feko, khube feko (keep throwing),” the Chief Minister, furious, said.
But when the attacker was caught by security personnel, he said: “Let him go, don’t pay any attention to him”.
Opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav condemned the attack, exhorting the people to protest through democratic means.